Silencing Court Jesters

The role of a court jester was subtler than you might think, he made fun of the king and his courtiers in such a way as to often tell truths which could not be said directly. A strong king did not fear the role of the jester, knowing it was a safety valve for dissent and an indirect source of intelligence that would be otherwise difficult to convey to his face. A wise king who was lucky enough to have a clever court jester could learn much from how the court reacted to his japes and court observers could learn from how the king reacted more than might otherwise have been known.

Only a king too weak or too arrogant would find a jester insufferable. Jesters strengthened kingdoms.

It seems to Guido that today the rich and the powerful are too arrogant and perhaps too afraid of the media, much as weak kings feared the jester, they fear an unfettered free press.

In an age of moral relativism the court of public opinion is so often the only one we have in which to judge public figures. The politician who disports himself naked in parliament – like Nigel Griffiths did – may feel no shame, his wife may be blameless, his party may stay silent, but should he really be able to hide his foolishness from the voters? Should he be able to go to the Courts to protect his privacy after literally cavorting with his lover in the public offices of parliament? He won an injunction to stop a free press reporting the full truth about him to his voters. That seems to Guido to be dangerous to our freedom and to the exercise of informed choice in a democracy.

Celebrities who use their wholesome image to endorse products similarly protect their commercial value using the Court to cover up their sordid reality.

Celebrities, soap stars and footballers go to Courts of Law to avoid being judged by the court of public opinion. If they succeed they escape censure and society is worse off in two ways; public figures get away with behaviour which society rightly disdains and they still manage to project a false self-image without the truth being exposed to the society they deceive. Secondly there will exist in society those who know the truth about public figures – mainly people in the media, politics and the law – and those who are kept ignorant like Roman plebeians.  That can’t be right.

Fear of widespread humiliation and popular opprobrium are two social restraints on the tendency of flawed humans to succumb to their baser instincts. It is an unfortunate fact that many of the characteristics which drive men to power are the same that make them scoundrels. If society wants those who rise to fame and fortune to behave less scandalously, society should keep the justified fear of exposure by a free press as a restraint. Muzzle the press by protecting the privacy of public figures and public life will be even more dominated by unreported scoundrels.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Boris on being scolded at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, for using the term “liberation” to describe Britain’s exit from the EU bloc…

“Come on, I have to say, I hesitate to accuse you of pomposity, but the word liberation clearly means… it’s etymologically equivalent to being freed, and it’s an undeniable fact that we, the U.K., has been unable to do, to run its own trade policy for 44 years. I want to reclaim the English language, if I may…”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Amazing Robot Warehouses Amazing Robot Warehouses
Team Corbyn Tweeting Fake News Team Corbyn Tweeting Fake News
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
Video: New Tory Attack Ad Targets Nuttall Video: New Tory Attack Ad Targets Nuttall
Farage: Nuttall Must Win Stoke Farage: Nuttall Must Win Stoke
Labour Condemn Blair’s Contempt for Democracy Labour Condemn Blair’s Contempt for Democracy
Open Britain Wheels Out Blair Open Britain Wheels Out Blair
Labour Whips Move to Save Bercow Labour Whips Move to Save Bercow
Arron Banks Sues Over Russia Claims Arron Banks Sues Over Russia Claims
No 10 Mulls Migrant Cut Off Date No 10 Mulls Migrant Cut Off Date
New: Nuttall Made Hillsbourough Claim in 2011 As Well New: Nuttall Made Hillsbourough Claim in 2011 As Well
Nuttall Press Officer Takes Rap Nuttall Press Officer Takes Rap
Anti-Bercow Lobbying Latest Anti-Bercow Lobbying Latest
May Copeland Victory Lap May Copeland Victory Lap
Snell: Give Woman “A Good Slap” Snell: Give Woman “A Good Slap”
New Statesman Cooking the Books New Statesman Cooking the Books
Suzanne Evans: Snell Not Fit To Be MP Suzanne Evans: Snell Not Fit To Be MP
Paul Mason: UKIP Voters Are Toe-Rags Paul Mason: UKIP Voters Are Toe-Rags
Daily Mail Pol Ed Runners and Riders Daily Mail Pol Ed Runners and Riders